Built-in dashboard app protects child pedestrians

| Transport

Volkswagen partnership aims to bring smart dashboard app into future models to detect impending danger for children approaching moving vehicles.

German company, Coodriver has come into the radar of Volkswagen as the two companies sign a partnership agreement to integrate Coodriver’s app into the dashboard of future Volkswagen cars to assist drivers in preventing collisions with vulnerable children.

The Schutzranzen (or Protection satchel) app depends on the child having the app loaded onto their smartphones. Once loaded, it sends a constant GPS signal out to the Coodriver cloud. Vehicles which are also loaded with the app gain awareness of the position of children in the vicinity of the car and can alert the driver if a child is in danger of being struck.

Specialist cloud-based application service provider for the traffic safety industry, Coodrive developed the app in recognition of the susceptibility of younger children to putting themselves in danger on the road, particularly in urban settings where parked vehicles obstruct their view of the road and where their judgement of moving traffic is impaired.

Although some children don’t have smartphones onto which they or their parents can load the app, Coodriver is making GPS transmitters available free of charge for permanently embedding in school satchels. With the position of the child and the vehicle both known within the cloud server, the software can calculate trajectory, speed and probability of a collision and alert the driver.

The visual and audible warning signal is integrated into the car app and can warn the driver about children loitering at the roadside, enabling preparations to be made by the driver. If a collision is impending, action can be taken faster than if a warning hadn’t been given.

Commenting on the app as being a further step towards improving road safety through interconnections with the environment, Volkswagen’s Head of Electrical and Electronic Development, Dr Volkmar Tanneberger said, “The Schutzranzen app is a further building block in future intelligent environment monitoring technologies. Moreover, the theme of “children” is very important to us, because we can now better identify and protect the most vulnerable people on the roads.”

As part of the partnership agreement, Volkswagen and Coodriver will be jointly developing the technology needed in order to fully integrate the Schutzranzen app into the display and operating system of the vehicle.

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